The Ethno-Cultural Food Buzz

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Photos Courtesy of The Stop Community Food Centre

It’s good to know that crops from different countries around the world can grow well right here in Toronto and Ontario’s Greenbelt. The Stop Community Food Centre and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre have reported 2010 as an amazing growing season for ethno-cultural crops such as okra, callaloo, fuzzy melon, eggplant, and yard long beans as they deliver on their “New Crop Animation” project, which tests new ethno-cultural crops for production in Southern Ontario. Members of different ethnic groups in Toronto happily received produce at the Vineland growing site and The Stop, expressing their approval of the freshness and good quality.

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The New Year holds promise for another successful harvest. New horticultural crops will be tested in the 2011 growing season. This is encouraging news for Greenbelt and Ontario farmers. An analysis of the expenditure on ethnic vegetables by the three largest ethnic groups in the GTA reported the demand per month at $21 million, $7 million, and $33 million for Chinese, Afro-Caribbeans, and South-Asians respectively. Ethno-cultural communities as well as other lovers of world crops will find comfort in learning about the great potential for growing these crops close to home.

Locally-grown world crops are the latest buzz around the City, so keep your ears and eyes open for more news on this topic at upcoming events such as Seedy Sunday, an annual Toronto seed exchange event taking place at the Hart House in Downtown Toronto on February 13th. The grower from Vineland, Ahmed Bilal, will be bringing along seeds from the test crops.

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